Electric Vehicles and Environmental Justice in Mexico City

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Student Research Reports, Summer 2018

Mural at Instituto Nacional De Ecología y Cambio Climático in Mexico City. (Photo by Jimmy Mahady.)
Mural at Instituto Nacional De Ecología y Cambio Climático in Mexico City. (Photo by Jimmy Mahady.)

Electric Vehicles and Environmental Justice in Mexico City
By Jimmy Mahady

The purpose of my summer trip to Mexico was to conduct research on ways that vehicle electrification policies in Mexico could be designed to target addressing environmental justice challenges. This research contributes to my existing energy/transportation research portfolio from the first year of my Master of Public Policy program as well as research I conducted as a Fulbright US Student researcher in Uruguay in 2013. I conducted research directly with the Instituto Nacional de Ecología y Cambio Climático in Mexico City and in conjunction with the Mexico/US Binational Energy Research Lab at UC Berkeley. We collected data, conducted interviews, generated maps of environmentally and socially burdened areas of Mexico City and generated a spatially-oriented environmental justice indicator and accompanying map that we hope can inform future research in this area. I found we got great feedback from the final presentation we did for staff and leadership at the Instituto Nacional de Ecología y Cambio Climático and wound up wishing we had done a mid-term presentation as well. Getting a good deal of feedback at the end is perhaps not as valuable as having it spread out across the research process. I am currently coordinating with California EPA (whose geographical environmental justice priority ranking model we based our research approach on), the Center for Environmental Public Policy at the Goldman School at UC Berkeley, the Instituto Nacional de Ecología y Cambio Climático, and the Department of Environmental Public Policy in the Mexico City Government to have a call in early October to discuss applications/perspectives on this research as well as opportunities for deepening or expanding a next phase of the work. I expect we will resume work on this research as of January for my Advanced Policy Analysis Project – my degree’s capstone requirement.

Evening haze over Mexico City. (Photo by Jimmy Mahady.)
Evening haze over Mexico City. (Photo by Jimmy Mahady.)

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